Crime doesn’t pay, and Kevin Foster is learning that the hard way. The former accountant and business manager to Ne-Yo and Brian McKnight was recently convicted in Columbus, Ohio of a slew of crimes including wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion. The 43-year-old was reportedly also accused of convincing Ne-Yo to invest $2 million into a sports drink company called OXYwater without alerting the singer that Foster was both the CEO and the CFO. He also allegedly took $1.5 million from Ne-Yo’s bank account without permission and forged the singer’s signature to open a line of credit worth $1.4 million.
The U.S. Department of Justice wrote that Foster used the cash to fund his luxury lifestyle. He reportedly purchased a Mercedes, a Bentley, a Jaguar, a Rolls-Royce, expensive jewelry, and extensive wardrobe, lavish vacations, and season tickets to NFL and NBA games. Foster was sentenced to 89 months (over seven years) in prison and now both Ne-Yo and McKnight can celebrate being awarded restitution. Ne-Yo will receive $6,456,250 and McKnight will be paid $151,675.
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“Foster deceived his victims into believing they were investing in a profitable sports beverage company when, in reality, he was using their money as a personal slush fund for his lavish lifestyle,” U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman said in a statement, according to justice.gov. “His ongoing and systematic deception also included stealing millions of dollars in additional funds. Not only did Foster betray the trust of his clients who believed he would act in their best interest, but he also used his accounting expertise to fraudulently report his income and live a virtually tax-free life.”